The more focused you are during your workout, the less likely you'll be to psych yourself out. Try staring at a spot on the wall — or ceiling if you’re doing floor exercises. This is actually a Zen meditation technique to improve concentration. Think about what you would like to accomplish in the long run, and you’ll be in beast mode in no time!
Remember to breathe
How many times have you heard that line at a group fitness class or from your trainer? It’s so important it deserves to be repeated a zillion times! According to Livestrong, when you inhale, you take in oxygen, which gets transported through blood cells. When you exhale, you get rid of toxins and gases, such as carbon dioxide. Proper breathing during exercise is important because it helps oxygenate hard-working muscles and supplies them with nutrient-rich blood. Plus, you’ll feel dizzy real quick. We’ve been there!
Engaging all of your muscles — not your hands! — while exercising optimizes your performance and prevents injury. For example, just because you’re lifting weights doesn’t mean you should ignore your core and your glutes. In a plank? Your whole body should be tightened up, not just your arms.
Keep those knees soft
Your knees are so valuable; be nice to them! If you’re participating in any plyometrics — which usually involve explosive jumping exercises meant to develop speed and power, running, skating or simply running up the stairs — always keep your knees “soft.” Having a slight bend in your knees when you land will lessen the impact on your knees.
Be kind to your neck
No one likes a sore neck, but it happens all the time. If you’re doing crunches or sit-ups, make sure not to pull on your head, because your neck will follow. Keep your head straight, and look up at the ceiling with your hands unclasped. Learn more about the perfect crunch and sit-up here.
Let go of the death grip
This goes for any workout that involves holding onto something — whether it’s lifting weights, cycling or even jump rope. Relax your hands. Gripping too hard will tense up more muscles than you need, resulting in pain, numbness and fatigue!